|Apricot Pecan Stuffed Pork Loin|
1 1/2 - cups dried apricot halves
1/2 - cup pecans
1 - clove garlic
1/2 - teaspoon salt
1/4 - teaspoon pepper
2 - tablespoons dried thyme, divided
1/4 - cup molasses, divided
1/4 - cup peanut or vegetable oil, divided
1 - (5-pound) boneless rolled pork loin roast, well trimmed
1 - cup bourbon
1 - cup chicken broth
1/4 - cup whipping cream
1/4 - teaspoon salt
- Position knife blade in food processor bowl, add the first 5 ingredients and process until coarsely chopped. Add 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 tablespoon molasses, and 2 tablespoons oil, process until mixture is finely chopped, but not smooth
- Remove pork loin halves from elastic net. (There should be 2 pieces.) Trim excess fat. Make a cut lengthwise down the center of each piece, cutting to, but not through, bottom. Starting from center cut, slice horizontally toward 1 side, stopping 1/2 inch from edge. Repeat on opposite side. Unfold meat so that is's flat. Repeat with other loin half.
- Flatten to 1/2-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Repeat with remaining loin half.
- Spread apricot mixture evenly on top of pork. Roll each loin half, separately, jellyroll fashion, starting with long side. Secure with string, and place, seam side down, in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon thyme.
- Bring bourbon, chicken broth, and remaining 3 tablespoons molasses to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat. Carefully ignite bourbon mixture with a long match. When flames die, pour over pork roasts.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 160 degrees. Remove pork from pan, reserving drippings in pan, and keep pork warm.
- Add whipping cream and salt to pan drippings, cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened
- Slice pork, and serve with sauce
Yield: 10 servings
Note: Here's how to flame the not-to-be-missed bourbon sauce. Heat bourbon mixture in a saucepan over medium-high heat until hot, remove from heat. Carefully ignite mixture with a long (fireplace) match, and allow to burn until extinguished.
TIPS TO STUFFING PORK LOIN
- To "butterfly" pork loin halves, cut an inverted "T" down the length of each half, and open it out flat. (Or ask a butcher to butterfly it for you.)
- With a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the pork to an even thickness. (The filling spreads smoother and the loin rolls uniformly.)
- Spread the apricot filling evenly over pork.
- Roll each loin half, jellyroll fashion, starting with long side.
- With kitchen twine, tie the rolls at even intervals to keep them rolled while cooking. (Baking the loin halves, seam side down, seals them better and also keeps them from unrolling after untying and slicing.)
- For a change, arrange roasted potatoes, carrots, and leeks on the serving plate before placing the sliced pork loin on the serving plate.